The Lily, the first US newspaper for and by women, began a “Thankful Chain” where one woman shares the story of another woman leader they look up to. The chain of eight included Filipina women activists Monique Wilson, Judy Taguiwalo and Cristina Palabay.

The chain started with food activist Alice Waters. A story on the chain was published on November 23, two days before the International Day to End Violence Against Women.

Congolese human rights activist Christine Schuler Deschryver said she is inspired by One Billion Rising director Monique Wilson. She described Wilson as “a radical, courageous and tireless activist who spends her life traveling around the world, galvanizing thousands of people with a huge energy. Such a loving, beautiful human being.” Wilson is also well-known as an international stage actress and singer.

Wilson, in turn, said she looks up to Judy Taguiwalo. She mentioned Taguiwalo’s role in the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s, the formation of revolutionary women’s group Makibaka and her activism during Martial Law that saw her behind bars twice. Taguiwalo is best remembered in recent times for being the head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, an appointment by President Rodrigo Duterte from the recommendation of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. As head of the agency, she was vocal against pork barrel funds sourced by legislators from her office—the stand that might have caused her to lose the confirmation of appointment that was voted on (also) by legislators.

Taguiwalo looks to Cristina “Tinay” Palabay as a woman leader for inspiration. Palabay is currently the Secretary General of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights. While she herself faces constant threats to her life and security, her group has been in the forefront of human rights struggle in the Philippines since 1995, having arguably the most comprehensive data on human rights violations committed by the state.

Three more women to complete the chain of eight included American actress and activist Jane Fonda, fair wages advocate Saru Jayuraman, and American playwright and V-Day movement creator Eve Ensler.

The Lily would continue the chain after the first eight. The publication began in 1849, covering issues like the abolition of slavery and woman’s right to vote and own property.

*Some photos from the article on the Thankful Chain on Illustrations by Ali Mac for The Lily.


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